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on this saturday night, under fire. mitt romney faces fresh concerns from within his own party after a rough week. tonight, more calls for him to shake things up. a hidden danger on the first day of fall. why homeowners are being warned to stay indoors and keep the windows closed. moment of crisis. a man leaps into a tiger den and barely escapes with his life. the story has taken a turn tonight. why he says he did it. birthday bash. a sweet 16 sets off mass chaos. thousands show up and so do the riot police. the family is now in hiding. and star search. they are the songs you just can't help but sing. ♪ hey, i just met you ♪ gangnam style >> what all the hit-makers have in common on the road to instant >> what all the hit-makers have in common on the road to instant fame.
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captions paid for by nbc-universal television good evening. there are just 45 days to go before the election. in some states, voters are already making their choices. as of today in 25 states it's possible to vote early. either in person or through an absentee ballot. with time slipping away, some republicans are publically voicing concerns about what they see as a downhill slide in the mitt romney campaign. our ron mott is traveling with vice presidential candidate paul ryan who was campaigning today in florida. good evening. >> reporter: hey, kate. good evening. for weeks now a lot of republicans have been urging the romney campaign to take off the gloves and get aggressive against president obama including sarah palin today. that's the tone paul ryan brought to florida. today president obama rallied
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for support in wisconsin, home turf for mitt romney's running mate paul ryan. >> we succeed when the middle class gets bigger, when it feels greater security, when everybody's got a chance to climb into that middle class. >> reporter: the latest nbc news/wall street journal poll has mr. obama at the coveted 50% threshold in the badger state, five points ahead of governor romney. concerns have spiked many the republican party this week about the romney campaign prompting wisconsin governor scott walker to urge effective use of the ticket's number two. >> it's not necessarily a frustration over the way paul ryan has been used but in the larger context i haven't seen that kind of passion i know that paul has to transfer over to our nominee. >> reporter: for his part congressman ryan pivoted away from the standard stump speech and took a turn to his comfort zone in florida -- pie charts and numbers -- taking the white house to task for running up the nation's debt and pushing for fiscal restraint. >> if president obama admits he cannot change washington then we
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need to change presidents. >> reporter: earlier the vice presidential candidate appealed to hispanic voters in miami with former florida governor jeb bush. appearing on his heels after missteps over the past two weeks , mr. romney seems determined to change the conversation. in an interview set to air sunday on "60 minutes" the former massachusetts governor is quizzed about whether he can engineer a campaign turnaround. >> it doesn't need a turnaround. we have a campaign tied to the incumbent president of the united states. >> reporter: friday he released his 2011 tax return. the campaign admitted romney did not claim nearly $2 million in deductions which he was entitled to which tax experts say could have lowered his rate to less than 10%. the romney campaign said it allowed him to fulfill a pledge that he'd never paid less than 13% in the last ten years. the romneys donated more than $4 million to charity but deducted only a portion of that ensuring
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the 14% tax rate. now the focus shifts to october 3rd, the first of three presidential debates. ahead of the first debate paul ryan and mitt romney are hitting the road through ohio, a state they hope to win but a state where they are trailing the president at the moment. >> ron mott on the trail for us tonight in orlando. ron, thanks. we want to bring in cnbc's chief washington correspondent john harwood. john, good evening. you heard mitt romney say he doesn't need a turnaround in the campaign. but aren't people suggesting that even in his party? >> reporter: absolutely they are, kate. we showed in the poll he was down by five. in all six of the battleground states we have surveyed in the last two weeks barack obama has been ahead outside the margin of error. i talked to one of romney's strategies today. he pointed to tracking polls that showed mitt romney even. one thing clear through the blizzard of information is that mitt romney needs to regain ownership of the economic issue, persuade americans he has a credible plan to turn the
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economy around. we have seen him slipping on the issue. that's the way -- the path he has to victory. >> romney released taxes last night on a friday evening. does that put that issue to rest now? >> it doesn't. democrats are saying what he's hiding is more important than what he has disclosed. but he has said that's all that the public is going to get. ann romney said the same thing. i think they calculated on the week the 47% video came out made it a terrible week for mitt romney. they might as well get the news out at that point and focus on the debate for the next ten days. >> john harwood in washington tonight. thank you. a program note here, much more on this tomorrow morning on "meet the press" with david gregory. overseas now to libya where there were more protests today, but not the anti-american protests we have seen across other parts of the middle east and north africa. they were protesting instead
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against groups they believe are responsible for the attack on the u.s. embassy. >> reporter: in benghazi, the birthplace of libya's revolution, thousands took to the streets demanding dozens of the country's militias be dismantled. >> we have to make just one army in libya. >> reporter: what began as a peaceful protest ended in a clash with armed groups that came to dominate the city in response to the september 11 attack of the u.s. consulate that killed four americans, they stormed a group they claim was involved in the assault. within hours protesters in the compound forced militia members to flee. at least 11 protesters were killed and dozens injured in clashes. cnn reports it found a copy of ambassador stevens's personal journal after the attack and that stevens wrote about how he feared for his life in the newly liberated country. his step-father tells nbc news tonight the report that he, quote, feared for his life,
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didn't sound like something he would write. american embassies remain on high alert in the wake of protests over the anti-islam film posted on youtube this month. in pakistan the death toll rose to more than 20 today. violent clashes between police and protesters angry about the youtube video. tens of thousands protested in nigeria by burning u.s. flags and in bangladesh protesters burned cars and fought with police. dozens were injured as police fired teargas into the crowd. nearly two weeks after it first gained attention online the anti-islam film is evoking strong emotions among muslims. >> back in this country now the pacific northwest is on alert over what's being called the largest fire event in years, burning well beyond the traditional fire season. there are warnings for families
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far outside the fire zone as clouds of smoke are spreading. kristen dahlgren has the report. >> you can't get there because the highway is closed due to the fire. >> reporter: as washington state's wildfires continue to burn out of control, the raging flames are only part of the problem. >> i grew up here. i have worked here for six years and haven't seen it this bad. >> reporter: smoke so thick dozens have been taken to hospitals for treatment. in many areas schools are closed and residents are warned to relocate, stay inside, wear masks. >> it is in the hazardous range and it is three times worse than any other forest fire that we have measured since the 1980s. >> reporter: these nasa photos show the fires in the pacific northwest. the smoke spreading so far the
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haze is visible thousands of miles away over the atlantic ocean. >> good air quality is measured at zero. we start at zero. we start getting into the unhealthy range at 35. we spiked into 900 plus. sometimes the monitors are knocked off there's been so much smoke. >> reporter: in washington state the two largest fires are forecasted to merge into a blaze bigger than seattle. red flag warnings are posted as more dry lightning is in the forecast. cooler fall nights only mean the smoke becomes trapped in low lying valleys. >> the fire has been growing during the nighttime hours. >> reporter: a dangerous combination as firefighters battle flames and breathe in thick smoke. but experts say the merging fires could help burn each other out and an approaching front may soon bring a little moisture, perhaps a tiny glimmer of hope in what is now a sky thick with smoke. kristen dahlgren, nbc news. >> it may feel like summer across much of the country now still, but today does officially
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mark the first day of fall. a place where it doesn't feel like summer now one duluth, minnesota. folks there got light snow last night, even before summer ended. the earliest measurable snowfall in duluth in 17 years. here in new york today, investigators were trying to figure out why a man decided to place himself in life threatening danger the way he did. why would anyone want to jump into into the tigers' den at a zoo? we get the story tonight from nbc's michelle franzen. >> reporter: at the bronx zoo today it was business as usual. >> i didn't really care. just wanted to come to the zoo, look at animals. >> reporter: following the unusual attack yesterday when officials say a man jumped into the tigers' den. zoo officials say 25-year-old david villalobos was riding the monorail tour when he leaped from the train and cleared a 16-foot-high fence putting
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himself face to face with a siberian tiger named bashuda. >> he made a deliberate effort to get over the fence. it was not by accident. >> reporter: he was in the tiger exhibit for ten minutes. zoo officials say he's lucky the 400-pound animal didn't kill him. >> the tiger did nothing wrong at all. if the tiger wanted to do harm to this individual, he certainly would have had time to do that. >> reporter: still, villalobos suffered bites to the arms, shoulder and leg. zoo workers had to use a fire extinguisher to get the tiger to back off and were able to get villalobos to cross under an electrified fence to safety. initially zoo officials thought he wanted to take his own life. he told investigators today his leap was definitely not a suicide attempt, but a desire to
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be one with the tiger. on his facebook page villalobos described a fascination with wildlife and tigers. he remains in the hospital and he will be charged with trespassing for his potentially deadly stunt. michelle franzen, nbc news, new york. still ahead as "nbc nightly news" continues on this saturday, they are turning the traditional school day upside down. no textbooks, no lectures, cubicles instead of classrooms. why parents and teachers say it's working. later, let's just say it's a sweet 16 she will never forget. that is when her family comes out of hiding. social security. man 1: i want facts. straight talk. tell me your plan... and what it means for me. woman 2: i'm tired of the negative ads and political spin. that won't help me decide. man 2: i earned my medicare and social security. and i deserve some answers. anncr: where do the candidates stand on issues that... affect seniors today and in the? find out with the aarp voters' guide at
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♪ we're back now with our education nation report about a school taking a unique approach to teaching. gone are the traditional textbooks and lectures, even the classrooms. the folks say it's working. our chief education correspondent rahema ellis has our report. >> reporter: it is a big open space with hundreds of cubicles.
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fingers racing over keyboards but this is no office. >> this is my 7th grade language arts course. >> reporter: this is carpe diem, a public charter school in arizona that opened seven years ago for students in grades 6 through 12. all 240 students spend two-thirds of the day completing coursework and listening to online lectures in addition to core subjects like math and science there is a wide range of electives. >> green means you're ahead in your courses. >> reporter: students can move ahead when a task is complete. >> for history if i'm good i can go faster. >> reporter: or spend extra time on challenging subjects. the experience isn't just about computer-based learning. students spend time in classrooms where they participate in group workshops and can have one on one time with teachers. >> a student who doesn't understand, say, dividing fractions, they have listened to the lecture on the computer but they still don't get it, they can come to workshop and ask a math teacher to please explain
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this another way. >> reporter: with just four academic teachers, organizers say et's cost effective, too. there are critics. >> the integration of technology into the classroom is very scattered. i don't think the evidence is there. >> reporter: teachers here are quick to point out this type of blended learning is not for everyone. but test results are encouraging. 90% of students at carpe diem are proficient in core subjects compared to 70% statewide. >> i enjoy the new style of learning. >> reporter: isaac harvey and two of his siblings attend the school where textbooks and live lectures aren't all that's missing. >> well, it gives -- [ laughter ] -- oh, it's tragic. so tragic. >> reporter: mom and dad say the approach teaches more than academics. >> there will be a point when they have to pace themselves. there will be no teacher to stand over them. >> it's not like a high school
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where you sit down and the teacher gives you the class. you have to grab things. you have to take advantage of it. >> reporter: lessons that go beyond the classroom. equipping students with the ability to seize success. rahema ellis, yuma, arizona. >> for the third year in a row nbc news is hosting education nation, a look at what's working and how you can bring solutions to your community. it includes a summit in new york and a teacher town hall moderated by brian williams tomorrow. it will air live on msnbc at 12:00 eastern, 9:00 pacific. plus we'll have coverage on air and online including interviews with president obama and mitt romney. up next tonight, thousands of uninvited guests give a whole new meaning to birthday bash. new meaning to birthday bash. ally bank. why they have a raise your rate cd. tonight our guest, thomas sargent. nobel laureate in economics, and one of the most cited economists in the world. professor sargent, can you tell me
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what cd rates will be in two years? no. if he can't, no one can. that's why ally has a raise your rate cd. ally bank. your money needs an ally. tyou wouldn't want your adoctor doing your job, hello... so why are you doing hers? only your doctor can determine if your persistent heartburn is actually something more serious like acid reflux disease. over time, stomach acid can damage the lining of your esophagus. for many, prescription nexium not only provides 24-hour heartburn relief, but can also help heal acid-related erosions in the lining of your esophagus. talk to your doctor about the risk for osteoporosis-related bone fractures and low magnesium levels with long-term use of nexium. possible side effects include headache, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. other serious stomach conditions may still exist. let your doctor do her job. and you do yours. ask if nexium is right for you. if you can't afford your medication,
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astrazeneca may be able to help. and every day since, two years ago, the people of bp made a commitment to the gulf. we've worked hard to keep it. bp has paid over twenty-three billion dollars to help people and businesses who were affected, and to cover cleanup costs. today, the beaches and gulf are open for everyone to enjoy -- and many areas are reporting their best tourism seasons in years. we've shared what we've learned with governments and across the industry so we can all produce energy more safely. i want you to know, there's another commitment bp takes just as seriously: our commitment to america. bp supports nearly two-hundred-fifty thousand jobs in communities across the country. we hired three thousand people just last year. bp invests more in america than in any other country. in fact, over the last five years, no other energy company has invested more in the us than bp. we're working to fuel america for generations to come. today, our commitment to the gulf, and to america,
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has never been stronger. time for a beer. thousands of them. today in germany as oktoberfest kicked off in munich the world's largest beer festival goes on for 16 days. more than 6 million people from around the world are expected to descend on the city's beer tents. one more number for uh you. last year residents consumed 8 million mugs of beer at
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oktoberfest. no wonder there have been reports of a beer bottle shortage in germany. another celebration in europe is making headlines tonight. this time in the netherlands where a sweet 16 party became anything but sweet as thousands of uninvited guests showed up followed by the riot police. >> reporter: the guests, uninvited, quickly became unpleasant and wouldn't leave without a fight. what was supposed to be a sweet 16 turned horribly sour. police officers attacked with rocks and bottles, cars set alight. many the small dutch town, 34 people were arrested and three seriously injured after a long night of violence. it all started when a teenaged girl hit the wrong button. her name is marta and she only
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wanted to invite a few friends on facebook but left her message wide open. the invitation went viral with its own youtube video and famous d.j.s spreading the word on twitter, social media leading to anti-social behavior. the sweet 16 was soon called project x -- the name taken from a movie about an out-of-control party. she's not alone. last year 1500 people arrived at a party in germany. in australia, more than 100,000 rsvp'd to a sweet 16. at least they didn't turn up. back in the netherlands this is the damage caused by just a few thousand. it's one big mess, this woman says. a mess neighbors have spent all day trying to clean up. the town's mayor calls the rioters scum. marta and her family were moved to safety before the crowds arrived. the birthday girl may not have been there but this is a party she'll never forget. nbc news, london.
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when we come back, they are the songs you can't help but get stuck in your head, but it's how they ended up there that's the real story. ♪ hey kev, how about a bike ride? huh? you're not my dad ahhhhh!!! hey honey, back feels better, little dancing tonight, you and me? hey boy, you wanna go for a walk? dr. scholl's pro inserts with shock guard technology relieve different types of lower body pain by treating at the source so you're a whole new you. where is everybody? that's not your dad. go pro with dr. scholl's. a crash management system and the world's only tridion safety cell which can withstand over three and a half tons. small in size. big on safety.
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sleep in my contacts. relax... air optix® night & day aqua contact lenses are approved for up to 30 days and nights of continuous wear, so it's okay to sleep in them. visit for a free 1-month trial. for j.d. power and associates has ranked quicken loans "highest in customer satisfaction in the nation." call or go to to discover for yourself, why we're engineered to amaze. hurry up or we'll miss the bus! come on! ♪ whatcha got there, richard? they're for show & tell. wasn't that yesterday? yup, but the class wants me to do it again.
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[ male announcer ] tim and richard smucker learned early on just how irresistible their jam really is. so how'd it go today, richard? i shoulda brought more. [ male announcer ] for five generations, with a name like smucker's, it has to be good. [ male announcer ] the exceedingly nimble, ridiculously agile, tight turning, fun to drive 2013 smart. ♪ finally tonight one of the hottest acts in the music world is a guy named psy. he spells it p-s-y, he comes from south korea and for now at least he seems to be everywhere, most of all on youtube where his
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video has been watched hundreds of millions of times and is the most liked video of all time. nbc's anne thompson tonight on the new way a star is born. ♪ >> reporter: we have seen him morning, noon -- >> three, four. ♪ >> reporter: and night. ♪ gangnam style >> reporter: korean rap star psy. an overnight sensation to most of us, his song "gangnam style" is a two-month juggernaut on youtube with more than 240 million views. >> 90% of the dance is dress classy and dance cheesy. >> oh, okay! >> reporter: he's the father of two who attended the berkeley school of music. suddenly the world has moves like psy. ♪ >> if you're in the music business and you're not spending time on youtube i don't know how you're doing your job. almost every star of tomorrow at
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this point is probably loading tracks on youtube. >> reporter: two-thirds of today's teenagers log onto youtube for music. the results, viral phenomenons like carly rae jepsen's "call me maybe." ♪ >> reporter: jumping from the web to the radio to spend nine weeks atop the charts this summer, a frenzy fed by parody. soldiers in afghanistan. ♪ >> reporter: the u.s. olympic swim team. even cookie monster. ♪ me got cookie ♪ so share it, baby >> every time you think maybe the song had peaked out, some group, entity, personality would do a different take and make it fresh all over again. ♪ here's my number ♪ so call me maybe >> reporter: as they are doing now with psy. proving imitation is the sincerest form of flattery and the way to a hit song. anne thompson, nbc news, new york. >> that's "nbc nightly news" for this saturday. lester holt will be back with you tomorrow.
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i'm kate snow. for all of us here at nbc news, thanks for watching. for all of us here at nbc news, thanks for watching. good night. -- captions by vitac --

NBC Nightly News
NBC September 22, 2012 4:00pm-4:30pm PDT

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TOPIC FREQUENCY Us 5, Paul Ryan 5, Washington 4, America 4, Florida 4, New York 4, U.s. 4, Nbc News 3, Villalobos 3, Germany 3, Libya 3, Anne Thompson 2, Romney 2, Marta 2, Michelle Franzen 2, Stevens 2, Air Optix Night & 2, Arizona 2, Duluth 2, Kate 2
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